When Michael Dollar realized how big the fish was on the end of his rod and reel, he was ready to do everything he could to bring it in — even if it took until midnight.
“We will do all we can do,” Dollar said with a chuckle in a video taken on Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia and posted to Facebook. His rod bent sharply into the water as the sun started to set on the horizon on March 4.
The catch didn’t take until midnight, though. Within the hour, the Raysville angler reeled in a staggering 70-pound flathead catfish, a Clarks Hill record, on a 6-pound line, Georgia Outdoor News reported.
The outlet oversees lake and river fishing records in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources division told McClatchy News in an email.
“I still can’t believe this happened yesterday,” Dollar wrote on Facebook. “70lbs flathead on 6lbs test crappie rod. Fought it close to 40 minutes. Bent the hook and broke my net.”
Dollar shared photos of his damaged rod and net on Facebook, along with a photo of him standing next to his impressive catch.
“After 20 or 30 minutes I thought we were going to have to cut the line, that we’d never get him in,” Dollar told Georgia Outdoor News. “I told my buddy just to get his head in the net. Well the net broke, and I had to throw my rod down to get him in the boat. I just hollered real loud. From where he bit to where we put him in the boat was probably a half mile, but we probably zig-zagged for 2 1/2 miles.”
The fish was weighed on a certified scale at Raysville Bait & Tackle and Bob’s Cafe in Thomson, Georgia, according to Georgia Outdoors News.
Facebook users commented on Georgia Outdoor News’ Facebook post, congratulating Dollar on the catch
“This is a killer catch,” on person wrote.
“Dang I bet that thing has been in that lake for AGES,” another said. “Congratulations!”
Clarks Hill Lake sits on the border of Georgia and South Carolina, about 30 miles northwest of Augusta, Georgia.